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Three men have been arrested after police in Southampton raided a scrap metal yard in First Avenue, along with three other private addresses in the city.
It's part of the national police initiative Operation Tornado which is aimed at stopping the trade in stolen metal across the country.
The raids were carried out in partnership with the Environment Agency on Monday 19, November.
A 35-year-old Southampton man was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and scrap metal offences. He has since been released on bail until January 24.
George Maunders, 32, of Old Redbridge Road, was arrested and charged with going equipped for theft. He has been charged and released on bail to appear before Southampton Magistrates Count on December 7.
Wayne Eastman, 27 of Plough Way, Andover has been charged with possession of a controlled class B drug (Cannabis) and going equipped for theft. He was released on bail to appear before Southampton Magistrates Court on December 12.
A stolen power washer was recovered and a number of suspected stolen power tools and plant equipment were seized by officers during the raid at the scrap yard.
A number of suspected controlled substances were also seized at two of the residential addresses.
As well as enforcement work such as the raid new legislation is coming in from December 3 which will mean all scrap dealers have to run a cashless system so that those selling scrap metal can not be paid in cash and must provide suitable
Force lead for Operation Tornado Jackie Wilson said: "Operation Tornado began on June 23 in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Since then scrap yards paying anyone in cash for scrap metal have had to take ID. Hampshire Constabulary have been
working closely with the environment agency to ensure compliance with the scrap metal act 1964 as well as Compliance with Operation Tornado.
"The majority of scrap yards have signed up to Operation Tornado and these measures have helped to achieve 30% reduction in metal theft reduction in metal since June.
"Those that continue to turn a blind eye to those who trade in stolen metal will be subject to intensive police activity.
"Metal theft has a direct effect on many people's lives with items such as roof lead being taken leading to damage and costly repairs for the many churches, schools and business who have been effected. Thieves have even been known to steal power cables and railway cables causing transport delays and electricity blackouts in some areas. The theft of catalytic converters off cars has also been a problem for motorists."
The raids come just ahead of new laws on December 3 which are aimed at making it harder for anyone to deal in stolen metal without being traced.''